Thurrock Conservatives were delighted last night after forcing a climb down by the Labour administration over reports on the improvements at Basildon Hospital.
Senior Tories had requested the report and recommendations outlining 14 possible improvements be returned to the Health scrutiny committee for action.
Conservative Leader Garry Hague said ” A great number of Thurrock residents were concerned that the hospitals last inspection showed it was under performing in certain areas.
Councils have the power to scrutinise the NHS and make recommendations where improvements are needed. Thurrock is the only council to have used these powers to investigate what has gone on at Basildon, so it is absolutely vital that these recommendations are made quickly and not held up any further.
It’s the duty of the health scrutiny committee, not cabinet, to make any recommendations on hospital matters directly to the NHS.”
At last nights cabinet meeting, leader of the council, John Kent agreed. He said: “I don’t know why this report has appeared at cabinet. It should be returned to scrutiny where it belongs. It should only be here to note.
Cllr Hague added ” There have been a number of instances now where correct process hasn’t been followed, as with the school transport contract, or officers and cabinet members appearing to contradict each other as with the staff cuts to Chafford Hundred library.
“I am shocked that the Labour Administration has again attempted to manipulate the decision making process. My team are committed to ensuring that the Council functions correctly. Had we not spotted this serious error it could have led to delays in implementing these much needed changes and jeopardised the relationship with the hospital trust.”